Living outside your client’s home offers greater privacy and neatly set boundaries, but the responsibility for ensuring you are there on time and ready to report for duty is a little trickier than walking down the hall. The number one rule for nannies is not to be late and compromise the parent’s obligations, so the burden is on you to make sure no unforeseen issues create a problem for the family.
Use these stress-free tips to stay on time and start your mornings on the right foot:
No one likes to add a half hour to their day, but your responsibility as a nanny may mean you need to leave early to make sure an accident, traffic jam, late train or other unexpected issue doesn’t prevent you from reaching your job on time. Just as the parent respects your need to leave when your day is done, you need to honor their need to not be stressed on a rushed commute to work or late for an important meeting. Find ways to put a positive spin on the trip. You may get there early, but if you make a special hot drink for yourself and download your favorite audiobook, those extra 15 minutes spent parked down the street won’t feel like a chore, but a mini-escape.
Beat the Traffic
If your commute coincides with the rest of the world’s drive time, consider altering your routine to save frustrating time behind the wheel in bumper-to-bumper traffic that could make you late. Research great coffee shops in your client’s neighborhood that might have frequent visitor perks, Wi-Fi or free refills. The amount of gas spent start-and-stopping or sitting in traffic can end up paying for your coffee or morning pastry. Calculate your extra cost and use the time to catch up with online friends, on paperwork or reading a book.
Consider Public Transportation
If an early departure isn’t practical, public transportation might make for a more enjoyable trip. Riding the rails could also be more reliable than braving traffic or hitting the highway in inclement weather. Depending on your location, a monthly commuter pass could even be transferred and passed between you and your employer, saving you serious money on travel costs. Either way, a ride where someone else is at the wheel frees you up to use the time as you like.
When the Weather Outside is Frightful
Even when freezing rain, nasty snowstorms, or even flooding become a road reality, your employer still needs you at your post. Discuss the possibility of staying over on nights forecast to include dangerous commuting conditions, and be aware that when nasty weather sets in, there is a possibility that the parents could be similarly trapped and unable to reach home. Keep sleepwear, a toiletry case and an extra set of work clothes at the residence to make yourself more comfortable when the unexpected hits.
Preparation can be the best solution to commuting woes. If your car is less than reliable, you need to make sure your cellphone is charged and your AAA is up-to-date to quickly solve car mishaps. If cold weather affects your battery, ensure you have cables with you and pop out to start the car a half hour early just to make sure your charge is strong on particularly frigid days. Ask the family in advance what the road rules are for plowing in their neighborhood and if they have a backup plan for parking, as leaving the kids alone to shift the car for a plow is not an option.